Bellefonte police step in to escort father to daughter’s funeral

The Jerry Sandusky sentencing this morning almost kept a father, an inmate in the county jail, from being at his 2-year-old daughter’s funeral today.

County officials said the county Sheriff’s Office did not have the manpower to escort Joshua Steele, 27, to the funeral because of the extra security detail needed around the courthouse for the Sandusky court date.

But Bellefonte Police Chief Shawn Weaver offered up two of his officers to take Steele.

The director of Centre County Probation and Parole said Steele is being given a temporary furlough. He said such furloughs to attend funeral services are made for immediate family members only.

Before the issue was resolved Monday, Steele’s family held a protest in front of the courthouse in the morning.

Steele is serving a sentence from a the county jail since September on a theft charge from July.

His daughter, Alexa Steele, died Thursday, and the services are today at Wetzler Funeral Service Inc. in Bellefonte.